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Business As Usual
Business As Usual
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

EPMD's 14-cut third album, Business As Usual, is their bumpingest and most influential. By 1990 the Long Island duo of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith had perfected their beatmaking formula. They didn't have to raid vocoder...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Epmd
Title: Business As Usual
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Fontana Def Jam
Original Release Date: 1/1/1991
Re-Release Date: 9/6/1994
Album Type: Explicit Lyrics
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: East Coast, Gangsta & Hardcore, Old School, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731452351029, 0731452351029, 731452351128

EPMD's 14-cut third album, Business As Usual, is their bumpingest and most influential. By 1990 the Long Island duo of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith had perfected their beatmaking formula. They didn't have to raid vocoder guru Roger Troutman's vaults for the funk. On "Gold Digger," an austere commentary on materialistic female groupies, and the battle-rhyme cut "Manslaughter," the duo flex their unusual ability to meld danceable rhythm tracks with hardcore rhymes, a strength which helped EPMD appeal to rap fans of all persuasions. "Rampage" resurrected a burnt-out LL Cool J. "Hardcore" and "Brothers on My Jock" marked the introduction of Redman to the MC game, further proving that the boondocks can produce something other than strip malls. --Dalton Higgins

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My favorite by EPMD, topten list over best hip-hop records e
RapSuperstar | New Jersey | 06/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Business As Usual (Def Jam 1990)

Long Island have raised a couple of rap legends up through the years. Rakim and the whole Public Enemy are originally from that area. The buddies Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith from Brentwood should also make huge success, and in the wake of the singles "It's My Thing" and "Strictly Business", their debutalbum sold to gold in just three weeks. This was impressive salenumbers in 1988, and since that EMPD have become one of hip-hops most famous duos. Their third album, which was their first for Def Jam, are in my opinion their highlight in their impressive long careers.

On Business As Usual, EPMD appears rougher than before, and even though a hardcore image ain't quite them, it was at least very timeright. Erick and Parrish have never sounded better than here. Check out "Hardcore" and "Brothers On My Jock", and the man himself LL Cool J are guest on the sovereign hitsingle, "Rampage". DJ Scratch have an insane hook on this song, where his scratching sound genius. It sounds very energetic, and it's hard to explain, but the whole record basically has an unique energy and mood feel which make you never get tired of it. When it comes to production, EPMD had dug deeper after funk-samples this time. They moved away from Roget Troutman and George Clinton to advantage for names like Bob James and O'Jays. The production was also more dynamic. You needed more than just loop now. You needed more layers with samples, and E Double and PMD accepted the challenge successfully. They perfectionized their formula for beatmakin', on the same time they sat a new standard for 90's hip-hop.

Their flawless debutalbum, Strictly Business, introduced us to a new type of funk which was about to affect a whole generation of producers. The follow-up, Unfinished Business, became a more coarse affair. On their third try everything matched. In fact this is so good I have it in my top 10-list, and it's actually Just Blaze's favorite record. He got his inspiration from this one, listen to The Game "No More Fun And Games", where Just used the same sample as the EPMD song "For My People".

You need this in your collection. Buy "Strictly Business" too, more classic material from EPMD.
The Third Of Three Straight Classics [Part 3 of 3] (5 Stars
Norfeest | Washington DC USA | 01/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I see a couple of heads calling this album classic......and then giving it less than 5 stars. Go figure.

Anyway, this is a 5 star banger without question. I said this in my other two EPMD reviews and I'll say it here, only a few other groups hit the ground running and dropped three straight classics: A Tribe Called Quest, BDP, Outkast (and quite possibly Organized Konfusion). What makes Business As Usual such a banger is the varied subject matter over hardcore production. EPMD had a knack for storytelling and covered a crazy range of topics. Whether they tackle things like money hungry women (Gold Digger), raps influence on mainstream America (Give The People), rocking collaborations (Rampage), or just straight taking out sucker MCs (Hardcore), they do so all with a precision and flare that was practically flawless. And as a DJ, I can't forget to mention that DJ Scratch is simply one of the illest there's ever been. The scratches and cuts are definitely high grade. His skills are put on display for all to see all throughout the album (the scratches on Funky Piano are tighter that gnat booty).

If there are flaws on this album you'd be hard pressed to find them. I wasn't really feeling their attempt to sound "hard" on this album, but it works, so I can't really call it a flaw.

Business As Usual is indeed a certified classic. EPMD kept the clubs dancin' and got the street heads open. The beats are beyond dope, the rhymes are on point, and the scratches and cuts are nothing short of superior....and lets not forget that this is the album that Redman made his debut on. There's no way this album is anything less than 5 stars. This is a MUST HAVE album from one of the best groups in hip hop history.

Standout Tracks: Give the People, Mr. Bozack, Rampage feat. LL Cool J, Gold Digger (My Favorite), Funky Piano, Jane III, Brothers On My Jock, Hardcore feat. Redman, Hit Squad Heist feat. Redman and K Solo, & Rap Is Outta Control"
"All Non Believers Can Get The Bolzack" (Rating: 9 out of 10
Chandler | Atlanta (College Park), Georgia | 06/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"You have to hand it to Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith. This duo has been putting out consistant album after consistant album since '88. My first taste of them was back in '99 when they released their final album Out of Business, but I remember those days when I used to watch BET years ago, and one day I saw the video for the song "Rampage" featuring LL Cool J (why was he behind the curtain in the video???). That song there reminded me of some hardcore east coast hip hop.

Business As Usual has many classic tracks on here. Redman gets his first appearance on the song "Hardcore" and "Brothers On My Jock" both excellent tracks. Another excellent track on here is "Manslaughter" where Erick and Parrish rhyme over a dope beat. Before Kanye West went popular with the song "Gold Digger", Erick and Parish had a song with the exact title and the same subject matter. I also like the beat to that song here as well. I personally believe that is the best track on this LP.

And the production here is done by Erick and Parish as well, with the exception of "Funky Piano" which was by George Spivey. The production here has that EPMD flavor that everyone loves so much. "Jane 3" has a nice beat as well and was produced nicely (with the samples and etc.). "Rap Is Outta Control" has a boom bap, neck snapping beat to it (I swear they are freestyling on this track).

There aren't really too much complaints about the album. EPMD's "Business As Usual" is definately worth owning. Also it wasn't easy to make, seeing that this came out in 1990, and the fact that Strictly Business & Unfinished Business were both made in '88 and '89 respectively. So making three albums in three years wasn't easy to do, not to mention that they are constistant year after year. Erick and Parrish are still running on this album. "Business As Usual" isn't their best LP, but it was definately one of the best in '90. Fans of 90's rap will love this album. They would go on to release Business Never Personal in '92 (which is out of print, why?) and break up into their solo careers for five years. In fact, I recommend the first four albums, because all of them are classic or near classic LPs. Peace!

Lyrics: A-
Production: A+
Guest Appearances: A
Musical Vibes: A

My Top 5 Tracks:
1. Gold Digger
2. Rampage (featuring LL Cool J)
3. Manslaughter
4. Hardcore (featuring Red Man)
5. Jane 3

Honorable Mention Tracks
1. Rap Is Outta Control
2. Hit Squad Heist (with Redman and K Solo)"